Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Sunday night, rummaging through our pantry, fridge and freezer....

I have various reasons for becoming and staying a vegetarian, but I can't say I don't crave some of my old, favorite meat-eating foods: steak, BLT's, hamburgers, BBQ ribs, chili cheese dogs or just hot dogs in general, meatloaf, pot roast, Thanksgiving turkey and.....

Sloppy joes!

In our sparse freezer, Alex found we had a few too many packages of "beef" grounds that is a perfect substitute for ground beef (except that it can't form into a hamburger patty, but serves many other delicious meaty, savory, flavorful dishes), and we (mostly Alex) which is why this is sans pictures (except an oldie) whipped up some homemade sloppy joe sauce (TOTALLY KEY!), mixed with meatless beef grounds for a perfect Sunday night comfort food dinner!

The best part of being a vegetarian is that 90% of my favorite foods have fantastic substitutes that had me fooled even before I became a vegetarian! 

I still remember my brother-in-law who has been a LONG TIME vegetarian coming home with veggie hot dogs and thinking to myself... WHAT IN THE WORLD?! so I dared myself to try a bite and was like.... HOLY GUACAMOLE, that is so insanely good....

Which then when I became a vegetarian, prepared veggie style "Pigs in a Blanket" to which were devoured to the point I had to save my mother-in-law, also a vegetarian, a couple.... and once the bowl was completely empty and various people shouting, WHO BROUGHT THESE?!... decided to tell everyone they very veggie "hot dogs" (which some people were, to my surprise, very upset about it)... but it just shows, even you non-vegetarians can be fooled!

Anyhow... here's another one to try a veggie version of a classic!

Slightly Adapted from Rachel Ray Sloppy Joe's
Serves 2-3

   In the line up folks:
1 package Quorn beef grounds 
(found in the freezer section of most grocery stores; Kroger, Publix, etc.) 
Extra virgin olive oil 
1 small onion, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 (14-ounce can) tomato sauce
1 Tabelspoon low sodium soy sauce or meatless Worcestershire
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  Several dashes of steak seasoning
3 Tablespoons brown sugar

Coach's Orders:
1. In a medium/large, non-stick pan, sautee diced onion and red pepper in heated olive oil over medium heat until tender.  Defrost beef crumbles in the microwave and add to the peppers and onions with the steak seasoning and brown sugar to brown for a couple minutes.  Add soy sauce or Worcestershire and red wine vinegar and let cook or "marinate" for a minute or two. 

2. Lastly, add tomato sauce to cover ingredients and tomato paste to thicken the sauce.  Make sure to stir consistently until sauce thickens to your liking.  If you like the sauce less thick, don't add as much tomato paste.  If you like extra thick sauce, add an extra Tablespoon of tomato paste (it's your preference!).

Poor photo quality taken a year ago when I first thought of this!
We personally like ours on an un-toasted whole wheat bun with a veggie side of some kind.. in this case some carrots and dinner is serve quickly and boy did it not only satisfy our bellies on Sunday, but even better for leftovers during our Monday lunch hours.  YUMM!

Quick, easy, healthy and even non-vegetarian's go back for seconds (.... even my step dad gave these a go!)

If you're looking for a meatless option for dinner one day of the week, give this a try and it won't even feel like a "Meatless Monday".... or whatever day of the week it is! 


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